Psalm 139: God's Intimate Knowledge Of Us
Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.[c]
21 Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made by God
Can you come away from this psalm without feeling loved and treasured by God? I can't. This psalm speaks of God's intricate creation and intimate knowledge of us. David reflected on the truth that God knows us better then we know ourselves. God knows our every thought, action, and word before the world was made. My mom used to say, "Before you were born you were a twinkle in your Daddy's eye." She spoke of my human Daddy. But it is true of our Abba (Daddy) Father as well. Before the world was made, in eternity past, we were a twinkle in God's eye. He had us all planned, He had our lives planned and recorded in His book.
"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed"
In this psalm, David recognized that God is the one who formed us and all our intricacies. As you read this psalm, you can actually get a visual in your mind of a dark, warm, womb, hidden from the eyes of the world, and God's hands are inside that womb, putting us together. "Ah, let Me make the ears." He shapes them with His hands. He creates stick out ears, large ears, small ears, ears with a slight fold. Then it is time to make the facial features. "I will give this child his mother's eyes, his father's nose, his grandmother's mouth and chin." And He creates our hearts, not only the physical heart but the soul and spirit."I will make this heart tender and compassionate." All our physical, spiritual, and mental/emotional features were created by Him. David was in awe of it all and declared,
"Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it."
Some Bible versions say, "For I am fearfully and wonderfully made." And finally, David told God that he knows His Spirit is with him everywhere, at all times.
"I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!"
David goes on to say in such beautiful language and word pictures (a communication gift given to him by God) that God's Spirit is with him in heaven, in the grave, in the wings of the morning, in the depths of the sea, and with a great hope that God sees us even in the darkest places. Glory to God. That's what Jesus meant when He promised: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
You can run but you can't hide
Sometimes we don't want God to be with us everywhere when we are in sin. We may not want to do what He asks us to do. The prophet Jonah didn't like the job God gave him to do, so he fled to the other side of the world (over 2,500 miles), away from his calling, and away from his Caller, convinced God wouldn't know.
He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord (Jonah 1"3).
It ended up that God prepared a little surprise for the defiant Jonah. He was swallowed by a great fish. It was God's way of getting him alone and unable to do anything but listen. In the utter darkness he dwelt for three days and three nights in this big fish, miserably experiencing disgusting smells, sensations, noises, and who knows what else. It is believed the acid from the belly of the fish would have bleached him white, which I am sure was painful. He had seaweed wrapped around his head (2:5). EW! It was there he had to conclude like David, "...even in darkness, I cannot hide from you."
Nothing will separate us from God's love
Meditate on this beautiful psalm and join David in speaking your thanks to God for putting you together with such love and care and complexity. Read it over and over again, and be secure in knowing that there is nowhere you can go that God's Spirit is not with you. There is nothing you can do that He will not love you. The apostle Paul affirms this in Romans 8:38-39:
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Abba Father, thank you for creating us with such love and care. Thank you that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you, Lord, that no matter where we go, no matter what we do, Your Spirit and Your love will always be with us. Praise you Father, from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above the heavenly host, praise You Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen and Amen.
Michale W. Smith - Psalm 139
© 2011 Lori Colbo